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Peak Training Week and the Sunset Endurance Challenge

Peak Training Week and the Sunset Endurance Challenge

I’ve decided that Thanksgiving break and peak marathon training week make an excellent combination.  I didn’t plan it this way but it really was the best week of the year for getting in a lot of miles not to mention the abundance of delicious food!  I only worked one day (and even then it was part-time) so I had the time flexibility for running and cooking. My kids had no complaints!

How could I turn down my son’s request for bacon?

I guess this makes up for this past summer when peak week for the San Francisco Marathon coincided with the busiest week of the year for work.  Add in 90 degree weather and unthinkable humidity and you get the gist of it.

Going into peak training week for the 3 Bridges Marathon I had 10 consecutive weeks of pretty solid, consistent mileage (60-76 miles per week). I’m pretty proud of this training cycle considering I raced 7 of those 10 weekends- mostly 5k’s and 10k’s which are not ideal for trying to get mileage up for marathon training.  This meant most of the races were not tapered and some were used as workouts.  I knew peak week would have my longest run and it also included a killer hill workout so I’d be ready for the bridge climbs.

Mon. 11/21- 13 miles easy @ 7:19 avg.

Tue. 11/22- 8 miles easy @ 7:49 avg. (morning run) & 4 miles easy @ 7:47 (afternoon run)

Wed. 11/23- 12 miles @ 7:47 avg. including 12 x hill repeats.  TOUGH workout and this one left me sore for 2 days.


Photo credit @ Abi
Thur. 11/24- 10 miles easy @ 8:23 avg. Recovery miles with a friend on Thanksgiving.

Photo credit @ Stephanie Brown

Fri. 11/25- 8 miles easy @ 8:30 avg.  Still a little sore from Wednesday’s workout so I took this run easy and enjoyed getting to run with a friend.

Sat. 11/26- 23 miles @ 6:51 avg. at  the Sunset Endurance Challenge.  I did NOT intend to run this fast but based on effort it felt easier than my last 2 long runs when I averaged 7+ min pace.  The Sunset Endurance Challenge was a free running event around the Sunset Lake (flat paved trail) and each loop was one mile.  This is a very organized event put on by the Saline County Striders. Participants signed up to run or walk for 24, 12, or 6 hours.  You could stop at anytime and take breaks as needed but if you planned to run for less than 6 hours you needed to sign up for the 6 hour event which is what I did.  I planned on stopping as soon as I reached 23 miles. With a flat course and temps in the low 40’s the miles flew by and it really was the best way to work in a long run.  There were always runners around and it was such a nice change from my usual long run routine.  Two of my running buddies went too and afterwards we went for coffee and shopping.

Photo credit @ Natalie Ragsdale

Sun. 11/27- 2 miles recovery @ 9:18.  Until about a year ago I would take off 1-2 days after a 20+ mile long run.  My body needed complete rest.  I’ve found that now I actually feel better with a short slow run to work out the tightness.  This run really helped with that and I was able to get back into training this week with nothing feeling “off.”


Total # of Miles- 80

Total # of hot Epsom salt baths- 9 or 10.  I took at least 1 a day (sometimes 2)!


Total # of calories consumed- A LOT.  I don’t count calories but if I did I’m sure I would have lost track. I had a lot of bananas from a local running event so on Tuesday of Thanksgiving week I actually made 14 loaves of banana bread.  Then on Sunday I made 3 loaves of pumpkin bread.  We were able to give away most of the banana bread to friends and the pumpkin bread was for a fellowship at church.  Even I know I do NOT need that much bread! I just enjoy baking and the more I run the more I tend to bake…


We’re now in the final home stretch! 17 more days to go…  Things are starting to get a little more real!

4 Comments

  1. I love hearing about your training! I’m always curious about other runner’s recovery run paces too. Sometimes I find mine are only a minute or so slower than marathon pace, and other days they are 3 minutes slower! I’m also considering bumping my mileage up this next year as an experiment… I’ve always been a low mileage runner (30-40, peaking at 50 in marathon training) and am curious how that would impact my training and race times… and how well my body would handle it. Lots of rambling, but I’m glad you shared this!!
    Laura recently posted…Mizuno running gear that has me optimistic about winter running!My Profile

  2. I totally agree! Running a lot of miles when there’s a holiday is great because you have that extra free time and then there’s lots of yummy food to replenish with. Oh and Epsom salt baths– love those!

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